Ice Storm 2013

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Somehow we were side swiped by the ice storm.  We saw the forecast but didn’t think much of it.  We just figured we’d stay off the roads for a few days and all would be fine.  Our awesome neighbour knew better and came and plowed our drive Friday morning.  We heard his tractor while we were still in our pajamas.  “Freezing rain is coming” was all he said when I ran outside to thank him.  He knew we were ill prepared with a simple shovel and manpower to fight the elements.

We now know better.

We got covered in our first layer of ice on Friday.  We lost power by Saturday, which meant no water or heat.  Jess was hauling 5 gallon buckets of water from the pond across the street, and we hooked up the generator so we could have a few lights on.  Our radiant floor heat takes a day to warm up and lucky for us about the same amount of time to cool down.  So it didn’t start to get chilly until Sunday morning.

Our power came back on Sunday afternoon.  We aren’t faring so badly compared to other Ontarians.  Some people aren’t expected to get their power back until Christmas day.  We now know we need to be better prepared for this kind of thing.  More canned food, and water in storage.  There are no stores nearby to replenish our supplies.  Our heating needs to be able to run without electricity.  We do have a wood stove but it is in an uninsulated gym.  It’s too cold to be in the gym for warmth, but we did use the stove to boil water and make our morning coffee.

Most of the trees on our property are damaged.  Ten to fifteen foot branches have broken off most of them due to the weigh of the ice.  Our car was frozen shut.  Our kids put their skates on today and skated down our driveway.

My mom made it here on Thursday.  All our other family visitors cancelled this weekend.  We are sad they are not here but it’s better to reschedule, and be safe.

The lights are starting to flicker again, so I’ll sign off.

Stay warm my friends.

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The Heat is On!

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It’s official.  We have heat.  It has been on for two weeks now.  In that two weeks, the boiler has broken several times in several different ways.  My brilliant husband has repaired it every time.  His brilliance needs to be recognized since all instructions and manuals for our boiler are written in Cantonese, and my husband is as white as they come.  Our second language is not Cantonese.   Let’s all take a moment, hold hands, bow our heads and give thanks to my husband’s handy man skills.  Without them, we would be very cold.

Today we woke up to minus 24 degrees Celsius, without the wind chill.  What?  Are we in Winnipeg?  What we do have is a thick blanket of snow all around us.  It is absolutely stunning.

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We have spent much of the last two weeks moving our belongings to the warm side of our building.  Unfortunately, our kitchen resides on the cold side, also known as the dark side of the moon.  So when hunger pangs call, I put on my winter coat and touque and head to the kitchen.  Meals have been a little lackluster as of late, as the goal leans towards speed of preparation as opposed to taste.  I don’t think we have ever eaten so badly.

I always like to end on a high note.  If I were the judge in the battle of Canadian Humans vs Chinese Biomass Boiler, the Humans have a significant lead.  Although future struggles are expected,  it looks as if the Human team will beat the Boiler team into submission with cunning and stove cement.

Plus we just bought six tons of wood pellets.  If the boiler shows any sign of winning we can simply bury it under all these pellets and set the whole thing on fire.

And then run out and buy a new boiler right away.